Teachers threatened with pay cuts to end work-to-rule campaign
By Nicole Williams
Ontario elementary school teachers could find out Monday if they’re facing a pay cut.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne warned teachers that as of Nov. 1, a five-day countdown could begin to dock their pay if they don’t go back to full duties.
The ultimatum was in response to an escalating work-to-rule campaign by the teachers that introduced a ban on extracurricular activities last week.
After a marathon week of negotiations with the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO), Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals said teachers can expect an update from the province Monday which could affect their pay packets.
In addition to refusing to participate in extracurricular activities, teachers are not issuing report cards or conducting parent-teacher interviews. Educational assistants and janitorial staff, who belong to different unions, are also working-to-rule.
The Government of Ontario and ETFO, which represents 78,000 teachers, are maintaining a media blackout that was issued over the weekend.
Ontario teachers have been negotiating for more improvements to infrastructure, better hiring practices and salaries since August 2014.
Agreements over smaller class sizes and more class preparation time have yet to be reached.
A teacher from the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board told Humber News the whole process has been frustrating.
“We have been without a collective agreement for a year. We also don’t want anything taken away from us that we’ve worked hard for over the years,” the teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
Teachers and parents across the province have weighed in on the debate.